Carnamah gems | The West Australian

I’ve deliberately timed my arrival in time for lunch but it seems I’m not the only one with that idea.

One L of a Feed in Carnamah’s Macpherson Street is drawing a crowd and parking outside the café is scarce.

Since Lydia and Brendan Haeusler opened One L of a Feed in September 2019, it has grown to become a “must stop at” spot for breakfast or lunch when travelling around the Mid West area.

It’s located in an attractive former Presbyterian church building right in the centre of town.

The café lives up to its promise… I wolf down an excellent toastie and a top-quality flat white.

Lydia is busy but still make time for a chat. I ask her how things have been since I last passed through.

“It has been up and down but there’s a lot of really great happening around here at the moment,” she says. “The North Midlands project have been really busy this year, they have held a lot of community events which I’ve been involved in catering for”.

But she adds that she is looking forward to the walk-in business picking up again, as people start to head north in search of warmer climes.

One L of a Good Feed in Carnamah
Camera IconOne L of a Good Feed in Carnamah Credit: Mogens Johansen/The West Australian

Outside in Macpherson Street, I spot Carnamah’s living legend, 92-year-old George Fowler, heading into the Carnamah Museum. I know him from previous visits, so I head across the road to say hello.

George is the president and life member of the local historical society, and a tireless volunteer at both the museum and the Macpherson Homestead just outside town.

He’s busy assembling a heap of new display cabinets for all the museum’s knick-knacks. He apologises for the mess but he’s still eager to show me around. He even gives me a ride in his flash white Mercedes to the Macpherson Homestead just outside town.

The homestead is his pride and joy. George and his wife Pam are almost entirely responsible for restoring it and it’s an absolute credit to them. It’s a lovely tribute to the Macpherson family settled in the district in the late 1860’s.

Back in town again, as I’m saying my goodbyes to George, he urges me to go and see Colleen Bennier in the Post Office next door. “It’s right next door, it won’t take long”.

The Carnamah Post Office and Bush Basket shop.
Camera IconThe Carnamah Post Office and Bush Basket shop. Credit: Mogens Johansen/The West Australian

It’s a classic old building with the familiar red Post Office sign hanging from one corner and the words “Carnamah Post Office” written in bold black letters above the entrance. So nothing apart from another small sign saying Bush Basket prepares me for what lies behind the door.

The room is packed with giftware… Clocks, vases, lamps and ornaments are everywhere.

“Where’s the post office?” I think to myself.

I follow the voices coming from somewhere near the back of the shop, where I find Colleen serving customers in what resembles a post office.

I wait my turn and introduce myself.

“George said I should come and say hello,” I say.

“Did he now?” comes the reply.

Apparently, I’m not the first person to come in and wonder where the post office is. It turns out she is not only the postmaster; she’s also the gift shop owner, barista, (yes, you can get coffee here too) and real estate agent.

“I sell all things for all ages” she says with a smile.

Country towns — you have to love them! Thank you Lydia, George and Colleen. You’ve made my day.

Colleen Bennier in her Post Office/Bush Basket/Cafe shop.
Camera IconColleen Bennier in her Post Office/Bush Basket/Cafe shop. Credit: The West Australian

You can read the full story from MOGENS JOHANSEN’s trip along the inland road of Australia’s Coral Coast in this weekend’s Travel inside The West Australian.


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